In what is seen as an anti-women diktat, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari has ordered that women coming alone or in groups will not be permitted inside the historic Mughal-era Mosque in Delhi.
The Jama Masjid administration issued an order on Thursday banning the entry of women coming alone or in groups to the historical place in Old Delhi. The order was pasted at the entrance of the mosque.
The signage at the entrance of Jama Masjid
Sabiullah Khan, Public relation officer of the Maja masjid, claimed “there is no restriction on women coming with families or married couples.
"There is no restriction on girls/women coming with families, no restriction on married couples either. When women come alone, they indulge in improper acts and shoot videos. The ban is to stop this."
This is essentially a violation of the fundamental rights of women and the Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal has issued a notice to the Jama masjid authorities on this.
Taking to Twitter Maliwal said:
जामा मस्जिद में महिलाओं की एंट्री रोकने का फ़ैसला बिलकुल ग़लत है। जितना हक एक पुरुष को इबादत का है उतना ही एक महिला को भी। मैं जामा मस्जिद के इमाम को नोटिस जारी कर रही हूँ। इस तरह महिलाओं की एंट्री बैन करने का अधिकार किसी को नहीं है।— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) November 24, 2022
The decision to stop the entry of women into the Jama Masjid is absolutely wrong. As much as a man has the right to worship, so also does a woman. I am issuing notice to the Imam of Jama Masjid. No one has the right to ban the entry of women like this.
Her post triggered a debate on Twitter with many people asking Maliwal not to meddle in religious affairs while some supported her action and suggested she led a women’s group to storm into the mosque.
It's good decision becz jama masjid is place of worship not tourism place , you don't have any right to tell us how many rights in our religion?— mohd salman🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@mohdsalman38036) November 24, 2022
Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari told Awaz-the voice that the ban was in view of the men and women coming for enjoying themselves and using the mosque premises for objectionable and recreational activities. However, he claimed that the caretakers had been objecting to and warning the young couples visiting the mosque for purposes other than praying and offering namaz.
He could not explain why only women were banned and not men.